Lowes lights up qualifying at Mugello with third fastest time
Feeling much better on Saturday than the previous day, Sam Lowes took a third straight front row start, while Tony Arbolino is aiming to fight back from tenth place on the grid.
- Despite the negative forecast for Saturday afternoon, the rain held off for Moto2 qualifying, meaning Elf Marc VDS Racing Team riders enjoyed dry sessions for Q2.
- The sixth race of 2023 will be held over 19 laps on Sunday and gets underway at 12:15 local time.
/// SAM LOWES, 3rd – 1’50.958
- After being physically below par on Friday, Sam was relieved to feel much better on Saturday morning. That was immediately reflected in his lap times, as he improved on his first flying lap and finished the session 5th.
- Sam was strong throughout qualifying. Despite making several mistakes on his fastest lap, his efforts were enough for 3rd, and a third front row start in succession. The 32-year old was just 0.162s off pole man Aron Canet.
“I’m very positive for the race”
“From the first lap this morning I realised my physical feeling was affecting me more than I thought yesterday. At the start of P3 I was faster than yesterday and the bike was a lot easier to handle. I’m happy with today. I feel good on both new and used tyres. I didn’t do the perfect lap in qualifying – I made a few small mistakes. But this class is tough, you can’t expect pole every week! But a third straight front row start is nice. Today every lap I did I was fast, I was consistent in qualifying as well and felt like I could keep doing that rhythm. Honestly, I’m very positive for the race. My starts have improved this weekend but I’m still struggling a bit in Sector 1. Pedro’s quick there so maybe I can learn something from him. But I’m good in the rest of the lap, so the aim is to get a good start and be in the lead group, which will include Pedro, the two Speed Up guys and maybe Tony. But I believe I can be there.”
/// TONY ARBOLINO, 10th – 1’51.245
- After making a number of changes to his settings after Friday, Tony could feel some small improvements in P3, when he climbed from outside the top 14 to 7th with his final lap of the session.
- But the 22-year old was still suffering from a lack of front end feel in Q2, when he set his best time on the third of an 8-lap run. He ended the session 0.449s from pole position.
“I’m confident I can set a good pace to try and get as many points as possible”
“In qualifying I had the worst feeling of the weekend. That’s quite strange as we were focussed on working on a few things but honestly it didn’t pay off. We were struggling a bit with front end feel, like we have been all through the weekend. At least we know what to work on tonight. So, let’s see tomorrow in the race. We’ll try and put the best package together for the 19 laps. We’re starting from P10 so I’ll start aggressively to gain some places. I’m confident I can set a good pace so the aim is to try and get as many points on the board as possible tomorrow.”